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Amazon Founder Finds Apollo 11 Engines In Ocean

  • Uploaded by Ghost32 on Mar 30, 2012
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BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY

Move over, James Cameron. Jeff Bezos is getting ready to start his own deep sea mission. He's looking under the waves — for a piece of space history. Fox News explains.

"More than 40 years ago, the rocket engine that helped carry Apollo 11 to the moon plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, and now the billionare CEO of Amazon.com says he wants to get that thing out of the water."

Jeff Bezos isn't a stranger to space exploration. He founded the company Blue Origin with the aim of taking passengers to suborbital space. But he says a year ago he started wondering whether it would be possible to reclaim a relic from NASA's most famous mission.

The massive Saturn V rocket that blasted Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their way to the first moon landing is still the biggest, most powerful rocket ever launched. (Video source: YouTube)

It relied on five F-1 engines, still among the most powerful rocket engines ever built. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Each engine delivered one and a half million pounds of thrust and burned through 6,000 lbs of rocket fuel per second. A writer for Discovery News explains what happened to the rockets.

"Once used, they were expendable, forgotten in their underwater junk yard. In the early days of space exploration, sustainability wasn't high on the list of priorities, so dumping spent rocket engines into the sea was the norm."

On his website, Bezos says he put together a team of experts to try to track down the engines. He announced their success on Wednesday.

"I'm excited to report that, using state-of-the-art deep sea sonar, the team has found the Apollo 11 engines lying 14,000 feet below the surface, and we're making plans to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor."

Bezos says the engines are still the property of NASA. He hopes an engine will be put on display at the Smithsonian, and, if NASA allows it, the Seattle Museum of Flight. But MSNBC's Alan Boyle spoke with a salvage expert who said it's too soon to treat this like a done deal.

"Verifying that the engines are from Apollo 11 rather than a different Apollo mission would require checking parts numbers against NASA's database, he said. And bringing up the engines would not be a trivial task. 'If they're intact, they're like nine tons each ... That is not going to be easy to bring to the surface.'"

Bezos says he remembers watching the Apollo 11 mission on television when he was five years old. The recovery mission is being funded with private money.

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